Dance Throughout History
The word “dance” refers to the movement of one’s body to the beat of music or sound. The word covers many, many different types of movements, and even lacks of movement at times. It can be used to express one’s feelings, to communicate with others, and even to worship divine beings. The history of dance is very long, and no one can say for sure when dance entered the lives of humans. For all we know, we could have come out of the primordial soup dancing.
It isn’t extremely often that we find evidence of dance in the far past. One of the first known traces of dance is on the 9,000 year old Bhimbetka rock shelters in India and Egypt, which have pictures of figures dancing. It is thought that one of the very earliest structured uses of dances was to pass down stories from generation to generation. Another common use of dance or movement was to worship or entertain. Great kings or rulers often had dancers to keep then amused during the day. However, rulers weren’t the only ones worshiped my dancers. The art of dance was also used to worship gods or divine beings. Some worship dances were wild and fun, while others were very serious and organized. Other cultures didn’t worship with dance at all.
One of the very first known dances was Yoga. Yes, Yoga. It originated in India around 3300-1700 BC. It refers to a group of ancient spiritual practices that are associated with the disciplines of meditation and asceticism. Several seals discovered at Indus Valley sites depict figures in a Yoga or meditation like poses. Outside of India, Yoga is mostly associated with the practice of postures, or asanas, of Hatha Yoga. It is also widely known as a form of exercise. It has been known to have influenced the entire family of Indian religions and other spiritual practices throughout the world. Hatha Yoga is a particular system of Yoga developed by Yogi Swatmarama, a fifteenth century Indian sage.
In ancient Greece, around 600...